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Plan Ahead to Mitigate the Impact of Nationwide Concrete Shortage

Plan Ahead to Mitigate the Impact of Nationwide Concrete Shortage

Currently there are 43 states experiencing a concrete shortage due to a limited supply of cementitious materials (cement, slag cement and fly ash) available to produce concrete. Due in large part to favorable weather conditions and high demand over the summer, the supply of cementitious material that is usually stored in large volumes in terminals across the country has diminished leading to limits being placed on the amount of those materials available for purchase.

In an effort to provide service to all concrete producers and paving contractors, the amount each receives has also been limited.

Couple the material shortage with limited availability of bulk truck drivers (due to the federal “hours of service” regulations) and we are going to be seeing delays, especially on larger projects.

What can I do to mitigate the impact of the shortage?

For the remainder of the year, expect the delivery of cementitious materials to be slower than the demand. The outlook for 2023 remains positive with the expectation that the stores of supply will be replenished over the winter and increased cement production will come online in Spring 2023.

  • Communicate early and often with concrete suppliers as well as customers to ensure they are aware of the market conditions impacting certain jobs.
  • Plan as far ahead as possible when scheduling new jobs and evaluating current ones.
  • Document all efforts to obtain concrete materials to support time extension requests.
  • Review contract language to avoid surprises.

There is no way to predict market conditions and how things will play out, but we recommend preparing for a prolonged limit on material availability.

 

11/17/2022

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